Gear Guide: Spring 2012 Running Shoes

Salomon Athlete Scott Markewitz

We thought we would post this gear guide towards the first of spring in order to help us get out and start training earlier. This gear guide is packed with 11 new shoes for 2012. The first 9 are designed for running trails and the last 3 are for the road. We know shoes are a personal thing to many people, so we suggest that you look over the guide and find what shoes might work for you, then head over to your local running company and try them on. We also tried to indicate if the style were men's only, women's only or both.

vivo_breathoVIVOBAREFOOT Breatho Trail

Understanding movement and your environment are key factors to selecting appropriate footwear. VIVOBAREFOOT realizes that you face different challenges on the trail than you do in the comfort of your neighborhood. Built to tackle the most aggressive trails yet designed with lightweight breathability, the Breatho Trail offers a great barefoot experience. The Off Road outsole, measuring in at 2.5mm with 4.5mm multi-directional lugs, is designed to maximize surface contact for superior barefoot traction providing the protection that you need while still offering proprioception for skillful, natural movement. The zigzag, lace-lock structure is smartly designed to keep your foot secure while the anatomic toe box and zero-drop profile allow your toes to splay and the foot to flex. The interior of the Breatho Trail has a Dri-lex performance lining that wicks away moisture as well as hosts a removable 3mm pressed EVA insole for additional thermal protection when necessary. You don’t have to worry about stubbing your toes as the TPU Toe Guard has your feet protected and prevents scuffs for additional durability. All of these components make for a shoe that is sure to reawaken your senses and breathe in the world around you.


Upper: Breathable Mesh: Comfortable and lightweight, this mesh allows ventilation and airflow around the foot

Lacing: Lock-Lacing System: Zigzag webbing eyelets make sure the foot is secure in the shoe

Collar/Panel & Lining: Dri-lex: Lightweight, performance lining for moisture wicking and superior comfort

Insoles: PU Insole: 3mm insole with hex-flex moisture management system

Sole Construction: Off Road: Rubber outsole specifically designed for off road surfaces with directional lugs to maximize surface contact for superior barefoot traction

Outsole Thickness: 2.5mm with 4.5mm lugs: Offering maximum proprioception with protection and ultimate grip

Toe Guard: TPU Toe Guard: Protects the foot and prevents scuffs for additional durability

Weight: 272g/9.6oz

Eco Credentials: 100% Vegan

Mens and Women's styles available

• MSRP: $90.00

SpyridonLSVibram Fivefingers Spyridon LS

The Spyridon LS is Vibram’s first trail-specific shoe which provides a little more protection from other models they offer. The minimalist 3.5mm Vibram rubber sole provides impact protection from stones and debris, while allowing proper barefoot dynamics. The Spyridon LS has a molded nylon mesh in midsole which disperses the impact on rocks and other objects over a wider area. The Coconut Active Carbon upper offers natural breathability and an adjustable speed lace closure ensures a secure fit. While the 3M reflective applications provide safety after dark.


Upper - Stretch Mesh and Polyamide

Sole - XSTrek Vibram Rubber

Footbed - 3mm Polyurethane Insole Anti-Microbial Dri-Lex Sockliner

• Mens and Women's styles available

MSRP: $120.00

salomon_xrmissionSalomon XR Mission W

The XR Mission W is a women’s specific running shoe, designed with a women’s foot in mind. Salomon didn’t just “shrink and pink” the shoes but they redesigned the whole shoe to fit a women’s foot. The women’s shoe has deeper flex grooves, different heels to accommodate a woman’s specific gait.  Also there are different Sensiflex panels in response to the fact that a woman’s foot changes shape 20% more than a man’s during running. This shoe is one that you could wear from your front door to trail. It is light, cushioned, and grippy.


Women-specific design

Friction-free lace eyelet

Quicklace™ system and Lace Pocket

Protective TPU toe cap

Asymmetrical Sensiflex™ and Sensifit™ to accommodate a woman’s changing foot shape throughout a trail run

Outsole: non-marking Contagrip™, Contagrip LT, Contagrip HA, OS (oversized) Tendon

Chassis: Light-weight muscle

Midsole: Molded EVA, Dual density EVA, Compressed EVA, WSR technology

Weight: 274 grams  (size 7 US)

MSRP $130

scarpa_sparkSCARPA Spark

In 2012 SCARPA introduces four new models for spring driven by its ‘Mountain Minimal’ philosophy. SCARPA Mountain Minimal strives to build very lightweight trail shoes but footwear that still retains a sufficient level of midsole cushioning and sole traction for true mountain running in rugged terrain. At 9.5 ounces, the Spark is SCARPA’s lightest trail-­running shoe. Along with a low-­profile midsole, the Spark employs reduced foam thickness in the tongue and ankle collar, as well as a lightweight high-­tensile fabric forefoot strike plate. Construction is synthetic leather and polyester mesh for quick drying. Adhering to SCARPA’s Planet Friendly guidelines, construction is 30 to 40 percent Recycled content materials, and the midsoles add EcoPure for quick breakdown under landfill conditions.


Upper: Recycled synthetic leather and polyester mesh

Lining: Recycled polyester

Plate: Hi-Tensile Fabric Plate

Midsole: Molded EVA

Outsole: Speed Lite

Last: TR2

Sizes: 39 – 47, 48 (half sizes)

Weight: 269g; 9.5oz (1/2 pair size 42)

Color: Black/Green Apple

Compression molded EVA midsole

Hi-Tensile fabric forefoot strike plate

Minimal 6mm midsole drop

Planet Friendly®!

Men's and women's models available.

• MSRP: $115

ecco_trailECCO Men’s Biom trail Leather

The Biom Trail Leather is crafted with a yak leather upper for both durability and comfort. The biomechanical flexible midsole construction allows a natural running motion and perfect ground adaption. Also the sole provides excellent grip and traction on loose and muddy surfaces for the everyday adventurer.


Direct-injected PU midsole

Offers the support the foot needs combined with superb sock-like fit

Rugged rubber outsole with specially designed traction pattern

Stable for tough terrain without compromising on flexibility

Yak leather uppers with a reinforced midfoot

MSRP: $200.00

ahnu_orindaAhnu Orinda - Womens

The Orinda is engineered to encourage your foot's natural biomechanics and is designed to center and guide the foot to promote an efficient, stable and balanced stride. This is done with Ahnu’s Numentum™ Technology. The Numentum Run system uses multiple components and densities of foam arranged to help center the heel and encourage natural foot biomechanics. In addition, molded TPU stability struts are positioned medially and laterally providing protection against both over-pronation and ankle twists. The Orinda is designed for the quick heel strikes of running and fast hiking on or off-road.


Double density compression molded EVA

External TPU heel clip

Shock dispersal plate forefoot

3.5 mm cross directional lugs

Non marking rubber outsole

Moisture wicking mesh

Dual density EVA provides extra shock absorption with heel and arch support [D2]

• Women's Sizes 6-11

• MSRP $100,default,pd.html

patagonia_forerunnerPatagonia Fore Runner

For Spring 2012, Patagonia brings a complete, head-to-toe line of products built for trail running. Working closely with Patagonia trail running ambassador Krissy Moehl and Ultra Running team members, Patagonia now offers both minimal and traditional platforms in its Fore Runner is lightest trail shoe yet. The minimal Fore Runner offers a four-millimeter heel-to toe drop (9mm heel and 5mm forefoot) that caters to a natural stride. A durable, breathable air mesh upper offers ample breathability for warm running conditions; a reinforced rand and toe bumper provide durability and protection on rougher trails. For wet and dry traction, a multi-density sticky rubber outsole provides stability on all terrain.


Durable and breathable air mesh/synthetic leather upper; perforated nylon reinforcement provides durability; micro-fiber-reinforced rand and toe bumper provide durability and protection

Reflective webbing and heel for high visibility; 100% polyester moisture-wicking, ventilated air-mesh collar and tongue lining

15% recycled EVA anatomical perforated footbed supports, cushions and molds to the contour of your foot

Forefoot shock absorption pad and flex grooves provide forefoot protection and flex with gender specific lightweight 15% recycled EVA footframe (4mm drop: 9mm heel, 5mm toe)

1mm forefoot shock absorptions plate distributes pressure, protecting the foot while maintaining forefoot flexibility

Multi-density sticky rubber outsole provides 360-degree wet/dry traction in varying conditions (5mm thick; web 15mm; lugs 35mm)

Last characteristics: medium width, medium arch support, performance true to size

Men’s and women’s models available

MSRP: $110

tecnica_dragonTecnica Dragon Max GTX

Following on the success of Diablo Max, the oversized evolution, oversized performance trail running shoe, Tecnica is introducing the Dragon MAX GTX for spring 2012. Oversized rolling rocker offers forward energy transfer, enhanced cushioning and greater stability.  The Dragon Max GTX is built with Gore-Tex for those wet days on the trail.  The Tecnica Rolling System or TRS addresses stability, absorption and propulsion with an oversized platform that is 30% larger. TRS Max basically stabilizes the foot in a vertical world allowing the user to run up and down hills with maximum efficiency.   In addition to the larger platform, the Diablo Max boasts twice the cushioning, an oversized rocker profile with greater toe and heel rocker height and a midsole that completely wraps the upper for 360º of stability.  The Dragon is designed with a rugged outsole for maximum grip and efficiency on downhill descents.


• Enhanced cushioning

Greater stability

Better absorption

Rolling transition

More propulsion

Reduces fatigue and stress



• Available in men's and women's

• MSRP: $150.00

Saucony Triumph 9


For 2012, Saucony has updated the 9th edition of the Triumph which weighs in at a full ounce lighter than the 8th. This was acheived by upgrading to Saucony’s own PowerGrid™, a new injection-molded foam that delivers a ultra-plush yet still responsive feel underfoot. Triumph 9 is designed with an 8mm offset to allow for an easier transition for less impact while running. Also built with Sauc-Fit; this is a unique fit system in the upper that not only locks the midfoot onto the platform but also keeps the heel secure and comfortable


Comfortride Sockliner -  Saucony's exclusive open cell foam sockliner. It is antimicrobial and breathable while providing superior cushioning and ride

HRC+ Strobel Board -  An additional 1.5mm of EVA in the strobel board enhances the step-in-comfort for an incredibly plush ride

PowerGrid™ with PowerFoam™ -  Combining our new and innovative PowerFoam with our industry acclaimed Grid technology we created PowerGrid to provide the runner with superior cushioning and responsiveness on every run

Impact Interface -  Cushions and isolates heel impact

SRC Impact Zone -  Provides shock attenuation and sets the foot up for a smooth transition

8mm Offset - Heel-to-toe differential of the shoe, excluding the storbel board and sockliner

IBT+ - Our new blown rubber compound that is lighter, more responsive and has enhanced cushioning and durability properties

XT-900™ -  A carbon rubber outsole material that offers exceptional traction properties without sacrificing durability

Weight: 10.9 oz.

Men’s and Women’s specific models

MSRP: $130.00

newton_distanceNewton Running Distancia = Distance

Built with a highly breathable, fast drying, open screen mesh, the Distance will provide a comfortable run on warmer days. The Distance neutral light weight trainer is engineered for the Natural Running gait with a level-to-the-ground profile and Action/Reaction Technology™ (in the forefoot only). Minimal anatomical support strapping and metatarsal stretch panels provide additional support and comfort. This high-mileage, light weight trainer is perfect for everyday training, or racing any distance, from a 5k to the ultra marathon.


Variable fit

Slip-proof laces with heel-securing double eyelets

Reflective heel logo

Action/Reaction Technology™ in forefoot

Biomechanical metatarsal sensor plate

High rebound EVA

Met-flex enhanced forefoot flexibility

ETC anti-friction, anti-bacterial sockliner

Accommodates orthotics

High-density rubber

Exposed EVA foam heel

Minimal surface contact area

100% recycled laces, webbing, insole topcover

100% recycled box, packaging

Men’s and Women’s specific models

MSRP: $155.00

skora_baseSKORA Running shoes

SKORA Running shoes will be making their retail debut in 2012. Focused on crafting great running shoes, SKORA rolls out the BASE zero-drop performance running shoes. Designed to fit like a ‘second skin’, the BASE mimics each of the foot’s many contours as it moves. Also built with a zero-drop (no heel rise) midsole/outsole and a curved profile in both the forefoot and heel, these running shoes allow for natural movement allowing you to “Run Real”. The BASE offers a high tensile stretch mesh sockfit upper with an innovative X-strap closure system. Minimal upper overlays and a durable mesh construction provide a lightweight, full-foot fit with or without socks.

Men’s only, but plan on seeing women’s specific models in fall 2012

MSRP:  $125